Lower water level benefits lake’s ecology

OKEECHOBEE — After Hurricane Irma hit South Florida in September 2017, the water level in Lake Okeechobee rose to a high of 17 feet. That high water level had a devastating effect on all the submerged vegetation on the lake, including hydrilla, eel grass and pepper grass, which grow best at around a lake level […]

SFWMD orders independent scientific review of lake issues

WEST PALM BEACH – The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board wants science to determine any changes to the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS). At their Jan. 10 meeting in West Palm Beach, the board authorized entering into a contract with the University of Florida Board of Trustees for an independent scientific review to […]

Governor asks SFWMD board to resign

OKEECHOBEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis Thursday called for the entire South Florida Water Management District Governing Board to resign. At a press conference in Stuart on Jan. 10, Gov. DeSantis said the district needs a fresh start. “Today I have sent correspondence to all of the board members, thanking them for their service but requesting […]

Railroad Crossings to be closed

CSX Railroad has scheduled closing the crossing listed below for repair. This will necessitate rerouting traffic. Signage will be in place marking detour routes. Dates subject to change due to weather and/or other conditions. OKEECHOBEE • Crossing on N.W. Ninth Avenue (near N.W. Ninth Street) will be closing on/around Friday, Jan. 11. • Crossing on […]

Lake’s water flow issues start in northern Everglades

OKEECHOBEE — You walk into your bathroom and see the bathtub is overflowing. What would you do? Would you run a hose out the window? Would you gather up pots and pans to store the water? Would you buy a bigger bathtub? Or, would you turn off the tap, and then attempt to unclog the […]

For Lake O eco-management, fire is healthy; agencies work closely to coordinate prescribed burns

PALMDALE — When asked during a recent conversation at the fire tower station here for any offbeat or funny stories about serving in the Florida Forest Service, Wildfire Mitigation Specialist Melissa Yunas recalled one right away. “Danny and I became really good friends…” she started while Senior Ranger Danny Callahan gave a skeptical look and […]

Phosphorus – It’s everyone’s legacy

OKEECHOBEE — Any discussion of the water quality issues in the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee must include the issue of legacy phosphorus. Legacy phosphorus, quite simply, is phosphorus already in the system. It’s in the muck at the bottom of the lakes, rivers and canals. It’s in the soils of the watershed north of the […]

SFWMD terminates option on U.S. Sugar holdings

WEST PALM BEACH – Former Governor Charlie Crist’s “River of Grass” dream ended quietly last week when the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board terminated the state’s option on 153,209 acres of U.S. Sugar’s holdings. Without this action, the agreement would have expired Oct. 11, 2020. At the Dec. 13 meeting of the SFWMD […]

FWC asked to stop chemical spraying of aquatic plants

ST. AUGUSTINE — At the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Dec. 12 meeting, concerned citizens spoke out against excessive chemical spraying of aquatic plants. “I’ve spent the better part of the last six months trying to figure out what is going on with the red tide,” said Jim Abernethy, author of the “Stop the […]

Prescribed burn today (Dec. 12) between Moore Haven Canal and Sportsman Cut

MOORE HAVEN — A prescribed burn is underway today (Dec. 12) on 3,000 acres of Lake Okeechobee between the Moore Haven Canal and Sportsman Cut, to improve fish and wildlife habitat on the lake. This will be done as a joint effort by the South Florida Water Management District, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission […]